It’s unusual for paper companies to appear in a discussion of consumer electronics technologies, but a free app developed by printing-paper resource International Paper just happens to deliver one of the easiest means of printing out hard copies of documents and photos from smartphones, tablets and other devices on a common Wi-Fi network.
The company’s Print Hammermill App, named for International Paper’s Hammermill bonded-paper brand, was originally released over the summer and gets perhaps its biggest props for offering seamless compatibility between different brands and models of smart devices and printers connected to the same network.
The app eliminates the headache often associated with matching up proprietary mobile-printing protocols and the need to download different apps for different printers.
While printer manufacturers continue to work on standards through Mopria to one day allow such universal seamless printing, the Print Hammermill App is already doing it for Wi-Fi setups.
The app gives users the convenience of printing out photos, office documents, emails and attachments directly through one app as long as the device and printer are on the same network.
International Paper says the app supports a wide variety of Wi-Fi-enabled printer models. Setup is simplified with a Printer Setup Wizard that directs the user through the connection process. In only a few minutes, the device and printer are linked and ready to create hard copy documents.
In separate tests on the same Wi-Fi network, we found the Print Hammermill App installed quickly and simply on both an Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. The free app downloaded and installed in just a few seconds, instantly listed an Epson AiO inkjet printer model WF-3520 on our network, and produced perfect hard copy documents and photos. Jobs printed out painlessly in both black and white and color.
In this test, all devices were the current latest models from their manufactures, and the printer was one generation removed from the latest, so compatibility was perhaps better than we might expect to find with older devices and Wi-Fi printers, but for a free app, this was pretty darned satisfying.
Kudos to a paper company for coming up with an app that solves cross-brand compatibility headaches that, to date, even some major IT and CE companies have been unable/unwilling to do.